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Why NDLEA is going after illicit drugs’ production labs, says Marwa

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Mohammed Buba Marwa

Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Mohamed Buba Marwa has said the agency is pressing on with its offensive action against illicit drugs’ production laboratories and farms because of the threat they pose to Nigeria’s national security.

He stated this in his presentation on the national drug control master plan at a side event at the commission on Narcotic Drugs conference taking place in Vienna, Austria. “Nigeria was traditionally considered a transit country for drug trafficking. Now the problem is much bigger as different categories of drugs are produced, consumed and trafficked in the country including cannabis, cocaine, heroin and psychotropic substances including methamphetamine and tramadol. Cannabis is cultivated in different parts of the country and there is evidence of methamphetamine producing laboratories.

He said a situation where the drug use prevalence in Nigeria is 14.4 % is unacceptable and as such every necessary step must be taken to reverse the trend. “The drug use prevalence in Nigerians aged between 15 and 64 years is approximately 15 percent, three times the global drug use prevalence of 5.5 percent. Cannabis used by 10.6 million Nigerians is the most common used drug followed by opioids with 4.6 million including tramadol.

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This is in addition to the fact that one in every four individuals using drugs is a woman and one in five who had used drug in the past year is suffering from drug user disorder”, he said.

Explaining the essence of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) he said it “is comprehensive and balanced as it focuses on drugs not only from law-and-order perspectives but also as a public health and education issue. It provides balanced solutions to issues of drug demand and supply, and ensures access to controlled medicines for medical and scientific purposes.”

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